JOB OPPORTUNITY – SOUTH DAKOTA ORGANIZER

Dakota Rural Action (DRA) is seeking three (3) dynamic individuals to join our team. 

The newly hired organizer(s) will have the opportunity to work with staff and members of a fast growing grassroots organization working in South Dakota. DRA’s portfolio of work includes local and regional food systems, fighting pipelines and extractive energy projects and policy, supporting sustainable agriculture, working to train beginning farmers and food entrepreneurs while fighting factory and industrial agriculture via a theory of change dependent on community leadership. DRA’s work centers racial equity and social justice. 

DRA has an office in Brookings (main administrative office) with satellite offices in Sioux Falls and Rapid City; there is some flexibility as to where new organizers will office and that will largely be dependent on lead issues. These are full time positions.

DRA organizes at the grassroots level to build a strong base of members who work together to make change at the local, state, and national arenas. DRA is a democratically run organization with decision making at the Board of Directors, chapters, and committees levels.

The global pandemic illustrated how important grassroots organizing and people power are to communities thriving, DRA is positioned to continue expanding upon our nearly 40 years of community engagement. In an effort to bring in a wide range of experiences and voices DRA seeks to hire both well seasoned organizers and folks new to organizing.

  • Two Food Systems Organizers will work with DRA members and leaders:
    • Overall strategies for promoting and developing a food system in SD focused on locally produced food and the people who eat that food.
    • Developing Farm to School programs and policies supporting it.
    • Beginning Farmer training program (Farm Beginnings) development and implementation.
    • Fighting Confined Animal Feeding Operations and developing local, state and national policies removing the support for this kind of production and promoting sustainable food, fiber and meat production.
    • Organize local citizens as well as statewide committees to work on these campaigns
  • One Energy Organizer will work with DRA members and leaders on:
    • Renewable energy policies at the state and federal level
    • Rural Electric Cooperative reform including Coop policy and elections
    • Informing people about programs and opportunities being offered to communities and people through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
    • Organize state wide committees to coordinate actions on these campaigns

In addition to the specific areas listed above each organizer will have a work plan that may include the following:

  • Working directly with allied organizations in the community 
  • Working directly with state and national networks and coalitions who are advancing DRA priorities and campaigns
  • Lead Staff person for a local DRA Chapter
  • Build DRA membership and base of support utilizing grassroots organizing tools
  • Directly ask people to join and/or donate to Dakota Rural Action
  • Build chapter membership
  • Work with chapter members and leaders to develop local chapter issues and campaign plans.
  • Encourage chapter members to participate in DRA’s statewide issue committees
  • Build chapter leadership for the chapter and for the statewide organization including new leaders who will move into leadership positions
  • Help ensure good communication between chapter leadership and members; the board of directors, DRA staff, and other chapters and committees

 

Qualifications:

  • Skilled in group dynamics and group decision-making process
  • Driven by a strong sense of justice and understanding of racial equity
  • Ability to work effectively in networks and coalitions
  • Excited about meeting and working with new people
  • Knowledge of South Dakota and its people is a plus
  • A strategic thinker and planner
  • Someone who can motivate people to take action
  • Must be a team player
  • Must have a driver’s license and be able to drive
  • Possession of personal vehicle is helpful, but not necessary

Salary and Hiring date:

Starting salary is $39,000 and depends on experience. Generous benefits included.

To apply:

Send resume, writing sample, and three references to Frank James, Director, PO Box 549, Brookings, SD 57006, fejames@dakotarural.org, 605.697.5204. If you have any questions please contact Dakota Rural Action.

Application deadline:

Open until filled, applying immediately encouraged.


Dakota Rural Action (DRA) organizes people and builds leadership while developing strong allied relationships. We protect environmental resources, advocate for resilient agriculture systems, and empower people to create policy change that strengthens their communities and cultures.

We envision an active and engaged membership promoting healthy, beautiful, and just food, agriculture, and energy systems that protect clean air, water, and soil for all the current and future inhabitants of South Dakota.